Washington, DC – Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) President Peter McPherson today released the following statement urging Congress to complete the Fiscal Year 2017 appropriations bills with increased support for research and higher education.
“President Trump has rightfully made economic growth a national imperative. Unfortunately, the cuts proposed by the administration for FY2017 run contrary to the stated goal.
“For decades, the United States has been the global leader in innovation, producing cutting edge technological and scientific advancements that have improved the quality of life for millions of Americans. This success is due in part to a continued, strong federal investment in scientific research, the backbone of America’s innovation economy. In fact, almost half of U.S. economic growth over the last 50 years can be attributed to scientific advances and technical innovations. We can’t grow our economy and improve public health by cutting the research agencies that fuel our economy and support cures for diseases.
“The research that NIH conducts saves lives and the cutting-edge research at NSF, the Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and other important agencies leads to innovative technologies that create new sectors of our economy, produce new jobs, make us safer, and improve our quality of life.
“Similarly, our global and economic competitiveness demands that our country produce more college graduates and Pell Grants are our nation’s best tool to make it happen. Pell funding should be used to restore year-round Pell and the surplus should be preserved to protect the long-term health of this important program.
“Higher education and scientific research are two key ingredients in the recipe for economic growth and prosperity. To cut these two areas rather than increase investments in them would run counter to our nation’s best short and long-term interests. APLU strongly urges Congress to pass an omnibus Fiscal Year 2017 appropriation bill that reflects previously approved appropriations legislation in the House and Senate that included increased investments in both cutting edge research and higher education programs.”